One of the criticisms I have of many CMSes is the fact that they frequently employ lousy WYSIWYG editors. These lousy WYSIWYG editors, in turn, generate lousy HTML. And on-page factors still matter for SEO, despite our new focus on quality inbound links.

Lousy HTML, that is, HTML that does not usefully incorporate H1, H2, and B tags, lacks defining structural elements that search engines can use to attribute importance to the various parts of a document. WYSIWYG editors typically do not use these tags, and tend to generate HTML with CSS embedded pervasively in style tags. This obviously presents problems with regard to SEO.

As a solution, I propose using a custom markup language that simplifies layout for a copywriter. He or she can use a markup language that only does an isolated set of formatting and layout tasks. A simple parser can then be used for the transformation process to HTML. As an added advantage, it allows that same parser to get involved and make global changes that are well beyond the scope and possibilities in the CSS realm. The custom markup language would look much like the languages employed by various bulletin board applications.

This way copywriters can stay sane, and SEOs can spend time doing other things than optimizing lousy HTML generated by lousy WYSIWYG editors. Lastly, the markup language can also permit the copywriter or SEO to break into HTML for special cases, so as to limit any crippling effects. This covers all the bases.

[heading]Amen![/heading]

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